Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

The U Factory, Pop Up at Gillman Barracks

By Friday, December 20, 2013 , , ,

Pop up stores are gonna be the hot thing in 2014 and what's sizzling right now is The U Factory at Gillman Barracks. Little known to the public, Gillman Baracks is a gem that houses renowned art galleries and couldn't be a better fit for The U Factory, a temporal experimental platform that cuts across art, film, music, food, design and culture.

From Nov 2013 to Jan 2014, the people behind Underscore magazine together with creative consultancy HJGHER have curated a series of activities exhibitions, events, workshops, parties and 'happenings’ in the three blocks of space, Block 37 - 39. I recently checked out what they have to offer, starting with the Boiler Room at  Block 39, which houses the f&b outlets Maison Ikkoku, Rakusaba, The Travelling C.O.W., and the Bakers League. Food first as always.
Maison Ikkoku 
MI needs no further introduction. I've tried their brunch offerings at their Kandahar outpost and it's one of my favorite cafes for brunch (read review here). Brunch is served at the U Factory and includes the amazing Salmon Florentine and the kick ass Wasabi Egg Ciabatta. Head on here if you want to beat the queue, before everyone finds out.
Weekends: 9am – 5pm
Ramen Burger by The Travelling C.O.W.
If it's not the food craze that drove New Yorkers insane, and potentially Singaporeans. The Travelling C.O.W has come up with their version of the Ramen Burger, which consists of two golden crisp ramen patties and filled with some succulent meats, paired with a secret dressing. The Bulgogi Beef burger is a crowd pleaser, a mild sweet juicy burger. I liked the Spicy BBQ Chicken, which is more savory than spicy. The sauce provided the right amount of flavors for the otherwise bland noodle patty. More could be done to the consistency of the fried noodles, but when golden brown, it goes great with the saucy gravy. Skip the Mushroom Fricasse, instant mushroom noodles would have tasted better. Burgers are going for about $9.
Fri 6pm -10pm and weekends from 12 - 8pm
Rakusaba at The U Factory
Here is Preparazzi’s innovative take on the traditional laksa dish. Chef Jeremy's aim is to challenge people’s perceptions of what constitutes a laksa and to encourage diners to engage in a wider conversation about the changing nature of what is deemed ‘traditional’ Singaporean food.
So here is a wheat and egg noodles, served with a super lemak (coconut) dipping sauce that is very creamy. Interesting texture from the noodles but the sauce was lacking in flavors. Of the condiments, Preparazzi’s signature salmon otak otak gratin and a soft boiled egg topped with “heibi hiam” (spicy dried shrimps) were delicious. I expected the same umami charsiew flavor in the pork belly but found the meat bland and on the tough side. The finishing prawn and pork broth that was added to the laksa sauce after the meal was bland as well. But overall, an interesting dish. Just not sure if it warrants the $22 price tag.

Mind you, there are limited bowls of noodles. We were made to share 1 bowl because there weren't enough and all bowls were sold out at 3pm on a Saturday. I'm not sure if they do replenish for dinner.
Fri 6pm – 11pm, Sat 11am – 11pm and Sun 11am – 3pm
Wash the rich meal down with a cool refreshing Japanese craft beer. The Minoh W-IPA has a nice lingering grape aftertaste and the Ginger Ale was delicious as well.

The Baker’s League
Vegans can feast on the delicious treats by The Bakers League and are made without egg or dairy products. They weren't open when i was there on a Sat though.
Sat 11am – 11pm and Sun 11am – 3pm 

After the huge meal, do explore the other blocks to burn off some calories.
The Monocle Shop, Control Tower, Block 37
Not to be missed is the Monocle Shop, the largest pop up in the world. Get your hands on the Monocle x Porter bags, along with their Monocle's Guide to Better Living.

Assembly Hall, Block 38
Get an art education at Assembly Hall, Block 38, which houses international exhibitions by Shigeki Fujishiro and Design Hotels, as well as local installations by Aiwei Foo, Lekker and Kult.

I really liked the vibe of Gillman Barracks and i think the concept of U Factory is great. If you don't fancy the food here, you can always pop by the Naked Finn which is located in the same area.

For more information on participants, events and workshops, visit

Thank you U Factory for the invite. 

The U Factory
Gillman Barracks,9 Lock Road Singapore 108973

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